‘In God We Trust’ bill passes first vote of House with every Democrat opposed

WYOMING – A bill that would require “In God We Trust” be displayed in all public school classrooms and state government buildings across the state moved forward yesterday by an overwhelming 44-16 vote of the House.

HB133 was co-sponsored by Representative Marti Halverson-R, District 22 comprising parts of Lincoln, Sublette, and Teton counties.

All nine Democrats voted against the measure including Rep. Andy Schwartz-D, District 23, and Rep. Mike Gierau-D, District 16.

The bill was assigned to the minerals committee. If passed out of committee it would have to be approved by a 2/3 majority of the full Legislature.

In other news:

Wyoming’s version of a “stand your ground” bill passed easily at first reading in the House. Wyoming is currently the only state that requires individuals retreat when attacked in public.

HB168 would allow a person to use “defensive force in order to prevent an injury or loss to himself or another person.” The bill was sponsored by 43 lawmakers across the House and Senate. The Senate is also considering its own version of the bill (SF71).

The vote today was 51-8 in favor of the bill. Reps Andy Schwartz and Mike Gierau were in opposition.

Wyoming lawmakers also killed one of the two “sin tax” bills—alcohol and tobacco tax hikes—voting down an increase of maximum state profit on liquor and wine sales from the current 17.6 percent to 20.6 percent.

HB44 failed yesterday on a 22-38 vote of the House. Reps Andy Schwartz and Mike Gierau voted for the increase. Rep. Marti Halverson opposed it.

That still leaves a potential tax hike (HB43) to cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to be decided.